Events keep downtown busy

By Mandy Underwood
Joseph Slacian

Rain on Saturday couldn’t keep the crowd away from downtown Wabash this past weekend.

Sidewalk sales and the Dave Kunkel Memorial Cruise-in drew people to town on Friday. Those two events, along with the annual Garden Fest kept them coming downtown on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Booths, food trucks, and activity tables filled Paradise Spring and people of all ages found something to enjoy.

Cindy White sat at the Adult Education booth wrapping balloons with Mod-Podge covered string to create decorative yarn ball ornaments. Jason and Alison McClure sat at their booth with daughter, Freya, selling products from their orchard/winery located in Peru.

Peggy and Philip Siders put on demonstrations of how they turn their home-grown flax into linen.

Many vendors commented that the turnout this year was smaller than previous years, due to the rain, they assumed, but that the event was still a success.

Also at the Garden Fest was the Chair Affair, where businesses and individuals can submit their decorated chairs to be voted on by Garden Fest goers.

The Chair Affair tent was manned by Indiana State Festival Queen, Haley Porter, Wabash County Festival Queen, Dani Sparling, and Wabash County Festival Queen pageant 2nd Runner-Up, Madison Millick.

The three girls passed out pencils and slips of paper for people to vote on their two favorite chairs, one made by a business, and one made by an individual.

At the end of the day, votes were tallied and first place for the individual category was awarded to Monica Sparling, with first place for the business category going to Ride for a Cause.

Across town, at the Honeywell Center, hundreds walked around looking at the various classic automobiles on display.

“We had between 350 and 375 cars on Friday night,” Cruise-in committee member Bill Rettig said. “It’s pretty well a record for Friday night.”

In spite of an early morning thunderstorm Saturday, and the threat of rain throughout the rest of the day, a nice display of cars also were on hand for the public to view. The weather, however, was still on the mind or organizers.

“We’re watching the weather now,” Rettig said, mid-morning on Saturday. “It looks like it might come back about one, we’ll close up shop, pass out awards and get everyone out of here.”

Several car owners had their vehicles on display at the show for the first time.

“We don’t hear to much griping,” he said. “Usually it’s ‘Hey, this is one of the best shows we’ve ever been to. We give away 125 to 130 awards each day. That’s a lot of awards. We’re trying to keep everybody happy.

More importantly, the event is for a good cause – raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“We’re trying to beat the $37,000 we raised last year,” Rettig said. “It will be a week before we really know.”

Posted on 2019 Aug 20